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Todays, the day….twenty-six years, three hundred and thirty-two days later. Today I become an “empty nester!”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my life, God’s highest call for me is being “Mom” to five children. We had our five children in 8 years. So, when I gave you the exact years and days….it is because on those hard parenting days, I didn’t think today would ever come. However, our children growing up and leaving home is inevitable. So today was bound to come.  And now as I look back over the landscape of those years, I realize I am not sorrowful. I am delighted! Motherhood isn’t always easy, nor do we always get it right! We do make it through!

I made it through! Through the tons of dirty diapers, trying to potty train, spilled milk, broken windows and scraped knees. Then we moved on to first days of school, thousands of parent teacher conferences, hours of homework, tears because of things friends said or didn’t say and birthday parties I was never good at planning. (Imagine with five children how many parties I had to plan!) Slumber parties, kick the can and hide the flag with 27 neighborhood children.  The teenage years became harder, but we completed them also.  Even through the late night calls because a child had snuck out and ended up at the police station, the words spoke by men who broke my son’s spirit instead of encouraging his talent, the heartache of broken relationships, homecoming and prom dates, walking through an eating disorder and losing our son’s best friend in a car wreck. Some of these days are etched in my memory as if they happened yesterday. Others fade as time moves on.

Yet, today I realize again what an honor it has been to be “Mom.” To live through each one of those twenty – six years, three hundred and thirty-two days. Both the good and the bad! And while this chapter of life is over, excitement builds as I turn the pages to a new one.

Galatians 6:9 states, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

While my husband and I weren’t perfect parents nor are we perfect people, we did sow into our children’s lives. I believe we are beginning to reap the harvest of those years of planting. My teenagers are now young adults and my friends. As I reminisce on those planting years, I am so thankful it wasn’t any other way. Years ago, Jim and I determined in our family structure it would be God first, family second and job third! If life is kept in  balance, even through the hard times…the love of family prevails!

In anticipation of what is to come, today I am excited. Already I have formulated in my mind what I am calling…My “Empty Nester” list. Taken of course, from the bucket list. I have started a list of what I plan to do as an empty nester!

Tomorrow, I will share my “Empty Nester” list!

To those of you still in the midst of raising your family, don’t fall into the trap of this world. Remember your children are your most treasured possessions. The minutes, days and hours you pour into their life will reap a bountiful harvest in years to come. No profession, house or material possession deserves your time over your family!